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The European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, under the auspices of and in close cooperation with the Hungarian Presidency, organized the conference "Transition towards sustainable food consumption and production in a resource constrained world" on 4-5 May 2011 in Budapest.

This conference was expected to be a cornerstone in the wide foresight process, initiated by the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) in 2006, aimed at identifying innovative solutions, which would enable agriculture to cope with a range of complex and interlinked challenges over the next 30-40 years; challenges which come from the need to feed a 50% global population increase, a dwindling of natural resources such as fossil fuels, land, water, energy, biodiversity and fertiliser, and a need to address climate change effects.

The event opened a wide debate, based on the findings of the work carried out by SCAR under the Third Foresight Expert Group, (FEG3) aimed at reaching a common understanding of these major challenges. A consensus was reached on the possible transition pathways towards sustainable food production and consumption and the possible implications this may have for long-term research needs and policy orientations.

The FEG3 report and the conference will provide an important contribution to the planned Commission Communication on a "European Strategy and Action plan towards a sustainable bio-based economy by 2020" which is scheduled for adoption in November 2011. It will also feed into the workings of the possible European Innovation Partnership on sustainable agricultural production announced last October in the Commission Communication on the "Innovation Union" and into the "Resource Efficiency" Commission Communication scheduled for publication in June 2011.

Hungarian Presidency Website